Burma Quotes

Quotes tagged as "burma" Showing 1-24 of 24
Roman Payne
“People wonder why so many writers come to live in Paris. I’ve been living ten years in Paris and the answer seems simple to me: because it’s the best place to pick ideas. Just like Italy, Spain.. or Iran are the best places to pick saffron. If you want to pick opium poppies you go to Burma or South-East Asia. And if you want to pick novel ideas, you go to Paris.”
Roman Payne, Crepuscule

Aung San Suu Kyi
“It is not power that corrupts but fear.”
Aung San Suu Kyi

“Bursts of gold on lavender melting into saffron. It's the time of day when the sky looks like it has been spray-painted by a graffiti artist.”
Mia Kirshner, I Live Here

Aung San Suu Kyi
“My top priority is for people to understand that they have the power to change things themselves.”
Aung San Suu Kyi

“My mother used to say that rain here pours like a blessing, like a thick veil that parts to reveal the bride's face. But nearly every day, when this rain parted, it revealed a long line of soldiers, like you, like death, marching toward us, and we would scatter with a practiced silence and hide.”
Mia Kirshner, I Live Here

George Orwell
“When I was young and had no sense
In far-off Mandalay
I lost my heart to a Burmese girl
As lovely as the day.
Her skin was gold, her hair was jet,
her teeth were ivory;
I said, "For twenty silver pieces,
Maiden, sleep with me."
She looked at me, so pure, so sad,
The loveliest thing alive,
And in her lisping, virgin voice,
Stood out for twenty-five.”
George Orwell

George Orwell
“An earthquake is such fun when it is over.”
George Orwell, Burmese Days

George MacDonald Fraser
“It was part of war; men died, more would die, that was past, and what mattered now was the business in hand; those who lived would get on with it. Whatever sorrow was felt, there was no point in talking or brooding about it, much less in making, for form’s sake, a parade of it. Better and healthier to forget it, and look to tomorrow.
The celebrated British stiff upper lip, the resolve to conceal emotion which is not only embarrassing and useless, but harmful, is just plain commons sense”
George MacDonald Fraser, Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II

George Orwell
“Like the crocodile, he strikes always at the weakest spot.”
George Orwell, Burmese Days

“We stepped carefully, so softly, over thorny plants. The dust had turned to mud, splattering our shoes, socks, and legs. By the time we reached the boat, our clothes were clinging to our flesh and stained with the bloody remains of mosquitoes.”
Mia Kirshner, I Live Here

Victoria Armour-Hileman
“But if the world measures a refugee according to the worst story, we will always excuse human suffering, saying it is not yet as bad as someone else's.”
Victoria Armour-Hileman

“Seriously, just have the gonads to quote yourself! ^__^”
T F Rhoden

Victoria Armour-Hileman
“Seeds of destruction take root in the human heart, and even among those who long for peace, they call to our darker instincts and urge us to violence.:”
Victoria Armour-Hileman, Singing to the Dead: A Missioner's Life among Refugees from Burma

Enock Maregesi
“Mpelelezi wa Tume ya Dunia kutoka Israeli Daniel Yehuda Ben-Asher Ebenezer, Mhebrania aliyeishi Givat Ram, Jerusalem, na mke wake mrembo Hadara na mtoto wake mzuri Navah Ebenezer, alikuwa Ukanda wa Gaza siku alipopigiwa simu na Kiongozi wa Kanda ya Asia-Australia ya Tume ya Dunia U Nanda – kutoka Copenhagen kuhusiana na wito wa haraka wa kuonana na Rais wa Tume ya Dunia. Yehuda aliondoka usiku kwenda Yangon, Myama, ambapo alionana na U Nanda na kupewa maelekezo yote ya kikazi aliyotakiwa kuyafuata. Mbali na maelekezo yote ya kikazi aliyotakiwa kuyafuata, Nanda alimkabidhi Yehuda kachero wa Kolonia Santita Mandi Dickson Santana (bila kujua kama Mandi ni kachero wa Kolonia Santita) ili amsindikize mpaka stendi ya mabasi ya Maubin, nje ya Yangon. Baada ya hapo Yehuda alisafiri mpaka Copenhagen ambapo yeye na wenzake walikabidhiwa Operation Devil Cross, ya kung’oa mizizi ya Kolonia Santita duniani kote. Yehuda alifanya kosa kubwa kuonana na kachero wa Kolonia Santita Mandi Santana! Kwa sababu hiyo, sauti na picha ya Yehuda vilichukuliwa, watu wengi walikufa katika miji ya Copenhagen na Mexico City.”
Enock Maregesi

“After a year or two, the long term expats won’t see the beggars the same way. After a year or two, the cheeky young monks won’t make them smile. After a year or two, the newest restaurant opening won’t pull them in. To preserve they will withdraw and settle. They will come to accept the limits of it all. The hype won’t bother them. The promise won’t motivate them. They will have accepted their odd expat life, their awkward place in the chimera that is Myanmar today.”
Craig Hodges

Enock Maregesi
“Mapema, kabla ndege haijaondoka na baada ya kuagana na maafisa waliomsindikiza, Nanda aliingia katika ndege na kutafuta namba ya kiti chake. Alivyoiona, alishtuka. Msichana mrembo alikaa kando ya kiti (cha Nanda) akiongea na simu, mara ya mwisho kabla ya kuondoka. Alivyofika, Nanda hakujizuia kuchangamka – alitupa tabasamu. Alivyoliona, kupitia miwani myeusi, binti alitabasamu pia, meno yake yakimchanganya kamishna. Alimsalimia Nanda, harakaharaka, na kurudi katika simu huku Nanda akikaa (vizuri) na kumsubiri. Alivyokata simu, alitoa miwani na kumwomba radhi Kamishna Nanda. Nanda akamwambia asijali, huku akitabasamu. Alikuwa na safari ya Bama kupitia Tailandi, kwa ndege ya Shirika la Ndege la Skandinavia na Maxair kutokea Bangkok; sawa kabisa na safari ya kamishna.”
Enock Maregesi, Kolonia Santita

H.E. Bates
“Well, we have to do something. There are all sorts of rumours about soldiers coming up."
"These people are full of rumours. They love rumours." Paterson stood watching the bridge. "Their whole life is a rumour.”
H.E. Bates

H.E. Bates
“Paterson was not a member of the club. [..] When Paterson wanted to swim he took a towel and swam in the river naked and his Burmese boy stood on the bank with his bath-robe and waited to rub him down. 'I like to swim in water, not people,' was a remark of Paterson's that for a long time went round the club.”
H.E. Bates, The Jacaranda Tree

Amy Tan
“Life was good until the purges came. After that, there was nothing to do except flee into the jungle, high up, where it was so thick only wild things grew. When the purges stopped Black Spot and his friends and cousin went quietly to the town of Nyang Shwe, where they were not known. They procured black-market identity cards of dead people with good reputations. After that they lived two ways: in the open life of the dead, and in the hidden life of the living.”
Amy Tan, Saving Fish from Drowning

“Colonial Policy and Practice: A Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India by J. S. Furnivall

Quoting page 85-87:
Lower Burma when first occupied … was a vast deltaic plain of swamp and jungle, with a secure rainfall; when the opening of the canal created a market for rice, this wide expanse of land was rapidly reclaimed by small cultivators … Formerly, the villager in Lower Burma, like peasants in general, cultivated primarily for home consumption, and it has always been the express policy of the Government to encourage peasant proprietorship. Land in the delta was abundant … The opening of the canal provided a certain and profitable market for as much rice as people could grow. … men from Upper Burma crowded down to join in the scramble for land. In two or three years a labourer could save out of his wages enough money to buy cattle and make a start on a modest scale as a landowner. … The land had to be cleared rapidly and hired labour was needed to fell the heavy jungle. In these circumstances newly reclaimed land did not pay the cost of cultivation, and there was a general demand for capital. Burmans, however, lacked the necessary funds, and had no access to capital. They did not know English or English banking methods, and English bankers knew nothing of Burmans or cultivation. … in the ports there were Indian moneylenders of the chettyar caste, amply provided with capital and long accustomed to dealing with European banks in India. About 1880 they began to send out agents into the villages, and supplied the people with all the necessary capital, usually at reasonable rates and, with some qualifications, on sound business principles. … now the chettyars readily supplied the cultivators with all the money that they needed, and with more than all they needed. On business principles the money lender preferred large transactions, and would advance not merely what the cultivator might require but as much as the security would stand. Naturally, the cultivator took all that he could get, and spent the surplus on imported goods. The working of economic forces pressed money on the cultivator; to his own discomfiture, but to the profit of the moneylenders, of European exporters who could ensure supplies by giving out advances, of European importers whose cotton goods and other wares the cultivator could purchase with the surplus of his borrowings, and of the banks which financed the whole economic structure. But at the first reverse, with any failure of the crop, the death of cattle, the illness of the cultivator, or a fall of prices, due either to fluctuations in world prices or to manipulation of the market by the merchants, the cultivator was sold up, and the land passed to the moneylender, who found some other thrifty labourer to take it, leaving part of the purchase price on mortgage, and with two or three years the process was repeated. … As time went on, the purchasers came more and more to be men who looked to making a livelihood from rent, or who wished to make certain of supplies of paddy for their business. … Others also, merchants and shopkeepers, bought land, because they had no other investment for their profits. These trading classes were mainly townsfolk, and for the most part Indians or Chinese. Thus, there was a steady growth of absentee ownership, with the land passing into the hands of foreigners. Usually, however, as soon as one cultivator went bankrupt, his land was taken over by another cultivator, who in turn lost with two or three years his land and cattle and all that he had saved. [By the 1930s] it appeared that practically half the land in Lower Burma was owned by absentees, and in the chief rice-producing districts from two-thirds to nearly three-quarters. … The policy of conserving a peasant proprietary was of no avail against the hard reality of economic forces…”
J. S. Furnivall

“Established Sino-Burmese businessmen continue to remain at the helm of Myanmar's economy, where the Chinese minority have been transformed almost overnight into a garishly distinctive prosperous business community. Much of the foreign investment capital into the Burmese economy has been from Mainland Chinese investors and channeled through Burmese Chinese business networks for new startup businesses or foreign acquisitions. Many members of the Burmese Chinese business community act as agents for Mainland and overseas Chinese investors outside of Myanmar. In 1988, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) came to power, and gradually loosened the government's role in the economy, encouraging private sector growth and foreign investment. This liberalization of state's role in the economy, if slight and uneven, nonetheless gave Burmese Chinese-led businesses extra space to expand and reassert their economic clout. Today, virtually all of Myanmar's retail, wholesale and shipping firms are in Chinese hands. For example, Sein Gayha, a major Burmese retailer that began in Yangon's Chinatown in 1985, is owned by a Burmese Hakka family. Moreover, ethnic Chinese control the nations four of the five largest commercial banks, Myanmar Universal Bank, Yoma Bank, Myanmar Mayflower Bank, and the Asia Wealth Bank. Today, Myanmar's ethnic Chinese community are now at the forefront of opening up the country's economy, especially towards Mainland China as an international overseas Chinese economic outpost. The Chinese government has been very proactive in engaging with the overseas Chinese diaspora and using China's soft power to help the Burmese Chinese community stay close to their roots in order to foster business ties.[9] Much of the foreign investment from Mainland China now entering Myanmar is being channeled through overseas Chinese bamboo networks. Many members of the Burmese Chinese business community often act as agents for expatriate and overseas Chinese investors outside of Myanmar.”
Wikipedia: Chinese people in Myanmar

“Colonial Policy and Practice: A Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India by J. S. Furnivall

Page 178-179: It was not only unnecessary but imprudent to recruit Burmese [during the time Burma was part of the British Empire]. There could be little reliance on troops raised from among a people with no divisions of caste but united in religion, race and national sentiment … Obviously security required that the Burmese should be disarmed and debarred from military service. The Karens and other minor tribes, however, might be expected to side with the British, and these have been recruited, even when an initial reluctance had to be dispelled, but it has always been easy to find reasons for withholding military training, even as volunteer cadets, from the great mass of the people.”
J. S. Furnivall

“Anyway, here I am still waiting for troops, with everybody in the highest places issuing orders that I am to have them and no one in the lower quarters taking the slightest step to obey. The result is that we are months and months back on our programme and God knows when we will begin to do anything. Once patience gets frayed to tatters, and the loathing that one engenders for this country and its unbelievable military system reaches a stage impossible to describe. I am due for repatriation and often feel like applying. The only thing holding me back, and will no keep me here in spite of everything, the feeling that one hates to go home a failure, and secondly, the knowledge that if I got back home I would not be able to contribute one iota to the defeat of the enemy, whereas here I do know him and given the tools I can do something to finish him off. It's often so difficult though to fight (very metaphorically speaking), with one bare hands, and physically one gets exhaust. And one feels that one will never forgive or forget the stupid people who stood in the way, all the time wondering how one can be so petty, for they are certainly not worth remembering for their own sakes and not to forgive them is to take them far too seriously. I suppose really that war, especially when it is waged far away from public criticism and almost out of the public mind, is the highest form of inefficiency known to man. Hundreds more, thousands of gentlemen, in fact, who would be failures in any normal business and in peacetime would be kept in their places commercial travellers, et cetera, are now in positions of responsibility and yet sabotage anybody who has energy and ideas, and in spite of it all, I think that I still have a bit of both, and that no number of years in India will knock or dry them out of me.”
George L. Steer

“Even the rats were giving up on the British Empire'.
-p39- Elephant Moon”
John Sweeney